I was born in Singapore and grew up in a non-religious family background, except for when they performed the necessary ancestral worship rituals. The pursuit of success was drilled into every Singaporean child as their goal in life and the means to that is the pursuit for higher education. While in an Anglican affiliated Secondary School, I was exposed to Christ. However, it was the lives of a few Christian classmates that influenced me towards Christ. My identical twin brother was the first to come to Christ in secondary school through the help of Navigators in Singapore. When I committed my life to Christ, he introduced me to the Navigators. I was discipled by a Navs volunteer labourer, Oliver Kelly for 6 years. He shared not only spiritual things—how to walk with God, how to study the Bible, etc, but his own life. He incarnated/fleshed out the wonder of the gospel of Christ and God’s amazing grace.
In August 1991, I left for Calgary, Alberta to pursue my studies at the University of Calgary and served with the U of C Navs community. I graduated in December 1995 and the Navigators of Canada invited me to join their staff team and continue serving at University of Calgary. At the end of June 2002, I moved to Edmonton to assume the leadership of the University of Alberta Navigators ministry.
In early 2020, just before Covid lockdown, God brought Tracey into my life. We got married October 2020. I’ve gone from being a single man to married with 2 dogs and a house. It has been a joy and growth as we learn to serve together.
“[Jesus] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching with all wisdom that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29
Paul Tan is serving as campus leader with the Navigators of Canada at the University of Alberta. He also serves as Navigator’s Edmonton City Leader, supervising and shepherding the other Navigator staff ministering in Edmonton. Paul has been engaging in relational ministry with students on university campuses for 25 years, first in Calgary and now in Edmonton. Guided by 2 Timothy 2:2, the Navigators of Canada have come alongside people who desire a deeper connection with God by offering a transformative and holistic mentoring relationship. The Navigators engage individuals with the life-giving Word and intentionally equip Christ-followers to confidently pass along their faith and, in turn, help others know Jesus.
Having experienced the wonder of the transformative work of Jesus in secondary school and the impact of one-on-one discipleship through the Navigators in Singapore, Paul’s vision is to help others to know Jesus and become disciple-makers. How that looks practically is that he has conversations with students about life and God and invites them to read one of the Gospels to discover Jesus. He mentors students, showing them what it means to be apprentices and ambassadors of Jesus Christ. He teaches them how to study and obey the Scriptures, and how to journey with their friends who don’t yet know Jesus. Part of journeying with the students is also walking alongside them through life’s good and bad: struggling with difficult relationships, finding life partners, grieving the death of loved ones, and trying to overcome depression and anxiety.